WASHINGTON D.C. – A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Duke University, and the University of Missouri, found that wastewater from fracking can contaminate surface waters.
What is Fracking
Fracking is a process of injecting huge quantities of water, chemicals, and sand into the ground, to fracture bedrock which releases the oil and gas.
Fracking Site Study
Water samples were collected upstream and downstream from the injection disposal site for analyses of inorganic chemicals near wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia known to handle both shale gas and coal bed methane wastewaters. In order to understand potential environmental health concerns, microbial communities were characterized in surficial sediments, and bioassays were used to determine endocrine disruption activity in surface waters.
Chemicals Associated with Fracking Found in Surface Waters
Elevated concentrations of barium, bromide, calcium, chloride, sodium, lithium, strontium, were found in surface waters and sediment downstream from the wastewater facility. Iron concentrations also increased and were in excess of West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Agency water quality standard.
Sierra Club Executive Director, Michael Brune said in a PennLive Op/Ed, “the study does represent an important step toward acknowledging that fracking is simply too dangerous.”
Brune says that the next step for the Environmental Protection Agency to establish and enforce strict standards to protect our drinking water.